B-175088, JUN 14, 1972

B-175088: Jun 14, 1972

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PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES WHICH ARE REASONABLE AND NECESSARY TO THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS. (1) DAMAGE WAIVER INSURANCE WAS NOT REQUIRED AND MUST BE CONSIDERED A NONREIMBURSABLE PERSONAL EXPENSE. (2) THE COST OF RETURNING THE TRAILER MAY BE ALLOWED SINCE PAYMENT OF THE SURCHARGE WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE COSTLY AND IS ORDINARILY REIMBURSABLE. (3) UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. BERRY'S PERSONAL STATEMENT IN LIEU OF A RECEIPT IS A SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR ALLOWING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE RENTAL OF A HAND TRUCK. SETTLEMENT WILL BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING. E. BERRY: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 22. WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE FOR REPLY CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN COSTS OF TRANSPORTING YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

B-175088, JUN 14, 1972

MILITARY PERSONNEL - CHANGE OF STATION - SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS - REIMBURSEMENT CONCERNING THE CLAIM OF LT. THOMAS F. E. BERRY, SC, USNR, FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF ADDITIONAL COSTS INCURRED IN TRANSPORTING HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. PARAGRAPH M8500, JTR, PROVIDES FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES WHICH ARE REASONABLE AND NECESSARY TO THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS. (1) DAMAGE WAIVER INSURANCE WAS NOT REQUIRED AND MUST BE CONSIDERED A NONREIMBURSABLE PERSONAL EXPENSE. (2) THE COST OF RETURNING THE TRAILER MAY BE ALLOWED SINCE PAYMENT OF THE SURCHARGE WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE COSTLY AND IS ORDINARILY REIMBURSABLE. (3) UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, LT. BERRY'S PERSONAL STATEMENT IN LIEU OF A RECEIPT IS A SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR ALLOWING REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE RENTAL OF A HAND TRUCK. SETTLEMENT WILL BE MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING.

TO LIEUTENANT THOMAS F. E. BERRY:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 22, 1971, ADDRESSED TO THE HONORABLE F. EDWARD HEBERT, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, WHICH WAS FORWARDED TO OUR OFFICE FOR REPLY CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN COSTS OF TRANSPORTING YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS INCIDENT TO A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION.

THIS MATTER WAS THE SUBJECT OF A SETTLEMENT BY OUR CLAIMS DIVISION DATED NOVEMBER 15, 1971, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR DAMAGE WAIVER INSURANCE, SALES TAX, AN UNDOCUMENTED RENTAL CHARGE AND CERTAIN MILEAGE COSTS IN EXCESS OF THE OFFICIAL MILEAGE BETWEEN THE AUTHORIZED POINTS OF SHIPMENT.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY BUREAU OF PERSONNEL ORDER NO. 084563, DATED AUGUST 12, 1970, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED ON A PERMANENT CHANGE-OF-STATION ASSIGNMENT FROM VIETNAM TO THE MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, YUMA, ARIZONA, WITH AN AUTHORIZED DELAY EN ROUTE OF THIRTY DAYS TO COUNT AS ORDINARY LEAVE. IT APPEARS THAT SUBSEQUENT TO YOUR ARRIVAL IN CONUS YOU ARRANGED FOR THE SHIPPING OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS VIA USE OF A RENTAL VAN FROM CANOGA PARK, CALIFORNIA, TO YUMA, ARIZONA.

YOU MADE THIS SHIPMENT AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE AND SUBMITTED A CLAIM TO THE NAVY REGIONAL FINANCE CENTER, IN THE AMOUNT OF $156.25. THE REGIONAL FINANCE CENTER ALLOWED YOU $119 AS REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR MOVE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M8500 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS. THE AMOUNT ALLOWED CONSISTED OF $80.45 FOR VAN RENTAL, $1.50 FOR RENTAL OF HAND TRUCK IN ARIZONA, $20.05 FOR GASOLINE AND $17 FOR ADDITIONAL MILEAGE STATED TO BE 68 MILES AT $0.25 PER MILE "IN LIEU OF SURCHARGE."

YOUR CONTRACT WITH THE U-HAUL COMPANY WAS FOR $80.45 BASED ON 222 MILES AT $0.25 PER MILE. WHEN YOU TURNED IN THE VAN YOU PAID AN ADDITIONAL MILEAGE CHARGE OF $44 BASED ON 176 ADDITIONAL MILES OR A TOTAL OF 398 MILES. SINCE THE OFFICIAL DISTANCE BETWEEN CANOGA PARK AND YUMA IS 290 MILES THE MILEAGE ALLOWED (222 PLUS 68) REPRESENTED REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE POINTS OF SHIPMENT AND DID NOT INCLUDE MILEAGE INVOLVED IN RETURNING THE VAN TO EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA, IN LIEU OF PAYMENT OF A SURCHARGE AS INDICATED BY THE NAVY.

YOU THEN PRESENTED A CLAIM TO OUR CLAIMS DIVISION FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE INCURRED BY YOU IN THE AMOUNT OF $37.25. OUR SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 15, 1971, SUSTAINED THE ADMINISTRATIVE SETTLEMENT MADE IN YOUR CASE AND YOU, IN EFFECT, ARE REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT.

THE LIABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE COST OF TRANSPORTING A MEMBER'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS LIMITED TO THAT PROVIDED BY LAW AND REGULATIONS. SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, PROVIDES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE AND UNPACKING) OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREOF, OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH ORDERED CHANGES OF STATION AS PRESCRIBED IN REGULATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE SECRETARIES.

PARAGRAPH M8500 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE ABOVE STATUTE, PROVIDES IN PART THAT WHILE THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS ORDINARILY WILL BE MADE THROUGH A SHIPPING OR TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO BE REIMBURSED FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF SHIPPING HIS OWN GOODS, NOT TO EXCEED THE COST WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY THE GOVERNMENT HAD THE SHIPMENT OF THESE GOODS BEEN MADE BY A SHIPPING OR TRANSPORTATION OFFICER, SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATIONS CONTAINED ELSEWHERE IN THE REGULATIONS.

AMONG THE ITEMS DISALLOWED BY OUR SETTLEMENT OF NOVEMBER 15, 1971, WAS AN EXPENSE OF $6 INCURRED BY YOU FOR DAMAGE WAIVER INSURANCE. IT APPEARS THAT IN THE RENTAL AGREEMENT THE BASIC RENTAL CHARGE FOR THE VAN INCLUDED BOTH CARGO INSURANCE AND INSURANCE AGAINST COLLISION OR UPSET, BUT THAT THE LATTER INSURANCE COVERAGE SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED DAMAGE DONE TO THE VAN CAUSED BY IT STRIKING OVERHEAD OBJECTS AS WELL AS THE FIRST $250 OF ALL OTHER DAMAGE DONE TO THE VAN. THE RENTAL AGREEMENT DOES CONTAIN, HOWEVER, A SEPARATE ITEM WHEREBY A RENTOR MAY, AT HIS OPTION, PAY AN ADDITIONAL AMOUNT AS A PREMIUM ON A DAILY OR A WEEKLY RATE WHEREBY THE $250 DAMAGE DEDUCTIBLE MAY BE WAIVED.

UNDER THE PRINCIPLE OF PARAGRAPH M8500 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, THE EXPENSES WHICH ARE REIMBURSABLE TO A MEMBER ARE THOSE COSTS WHICH ARE REASONABLE AND NECESSARY TO THE SHIPMENT OF THE MEMBER'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS. THE MERE FACT THAT AN ACTUAL EXPENSE MAY HAVE BEEN INCURRED BY A MEMBER IS NOT OF ITSELF DETERMINATIVE OF HIS RIGHT TO BE REIMBURSED THEREFOR OR IN THE AMOUNT THEREOF. THE REIMBURSEMENT TO WHICH A MEMBER IS ENTITLED MUST BE TESTED BY THE NECESSITY OF INCURRING SUCH EXPENSE AND WHETHER THAT COST RELATES SPECIFICALLY TO THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT ITSELF.

IT IS CLEARLY EVIDENT THAT THE INSURANCE PREMIUM OF $6 WHICH YOU PAID ONLY RELATES TO AND PROTECTED YOU FINANCIALLY FROM ANY CLAIMS MADE AGAINST YOU BY THE U-HAUL COMPANY FOR THE FIRST $250 DAMAGE AS THE RESULT OF COLLISION OR UPSET OF THE RENTAL VAN AND IT IN NO WAY RELATED TO THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS CONTAINED IN THE VAN OR THE ACTUAL SHIPMENT THEREOF. WHILE YOU MAY HAVE BEEN URGED BY THE U-HAUL COMPANY TO PROTECT YOURSELF IN THE EVENT OF A MISHAP, NOTHING IS CONTAINED IN THE RENTAL AGREEMENT TO INDICATE THAT YOU WERE IN ANY WAY OBLIGATED TO PAY THIS PREMIUM IN ORDER TO RENT THE VAN. THIS EXPENSE, THEREFORE, WAS PERSONAL TO YOU AND IS NOT PROPERLY REIMBURSABLE TO YOU AS A COST OF SHIPPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M8500 OF THE JTR'S AND THE DISALLOWANCE OF THAT ITEM IS SUSTAINED.

YOU ARE SEEKING REIMBURSEMENT FOR AN ADDITIONAL 58 MILES AT $0.25 PER MILE IN EXCESS OF THE OFFICIAL MILEAGE BETWEEN THE AUTHORIZED POINTS OF SHIPMENT. YOU SAY THAT THE COMPANY FROM WHOM YOU RENTED THE VAN, U HAUL COMPANY, CHARGES A $50 SURCHARGE ON THE USE OF A VAN FOR A ONE-WAY HAUL FROM CALIFORNIA TO ARIZONA AND THAT IN ORDER TO AVOID THIS COST YOU RETURNED THE VAN TO EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA, THE NEAREST U-HAUL TERMINAL IN CALIFORNIA FROM YUMA, ARIZONA, SOME 58 MILES AWAY AFTER UNLOADING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS AT YOUR NEW DUTY STATION.

WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED BY LETTER DATED JANUARY 20, 1972, ADDRESSED TO THIS OFFICE BY THE NAVAL SUPPLY SYSTEMS COMMAND THAT THEY HAVE CONFIRMED WITH U -HAUL INTERNATIONAL THE EXISTENCE OF THE $50 SURCHARGE FOR TRANSPORTING VEHICLES FROM CALIFORNIA TO ARIZONA, AND THAT THE NAVY REGIONAL FINANCE CENTER HAS ADVISED THEM THAT SUCH SURCHARGES ARE NORMALLY REIMBURSABLE WHEN INCURRED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M8500 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS.

SINCE THE RECORD NOW SHOWS THAT THE SURCHARGE WOULD HAVE BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY REIMBURSABLE AS A REASONABLE AND NECESSARY EXPENSE IN CONNECTION WITH THE MOVEMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS ON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION AND SINCE YOU INCURRED AN EXPENSE IN THE FORM OF MILEAGE WHEREBY SUCH OTHER PROPERLY ALLOCABLE CHARGE WAS SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED, YOU WILL BE ALLOWED THE ADDITIONAL OFFICIAL MILEAGE FROM YUMA, ARIZONA, TO EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA, 58 MILES AT THE RATE OF $0.25 PER MILE, OR $14.50.

YOU HAVE ALSO CLAIMED REIMBURSEMENT FOR SEVERAL STATE SALES TAXES WHICH YOU PAID IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR MOVE. SINCE IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT THE INCIDENCE OF THE CALIFORNIA SALES TAX IS ON THE VENDOR AND THUS REIMBURSABLE (B-162060 OF FEBRUARY 12, 1968, AUGUST 29, 1969, AND DECEMBER 10, 1970), IT WILL BE ALLOWED IN YOUR CASE TO THE EXTENT APPLICABLE. YOUR CLAIM IN THIS RESPECT IS FOR $2.20 REPRESENTING 5 PERCENT TAX ON $44 BASED ON 176 ADDITIONAL MILES. YOUR CONTRACT WITH THE RENTAL COMPANY WAS FOR 222 MILES AND THE NAVY ALLOWED YOU $17 FOR 68 ADDITIONAL MILES TO ACCOUNT FOR THE FULL DISTANCE BETWEEN POINTS OF SHIPMENT. SINCE YOU NOW ARE BEING ALLOWED $14.50 FOR AN ADDITIONAL 58 MILES AS STATED ABOVE, THE REIMBURSABLE CALIFORNIA SALES TAX WILL BE COMPUTED ON $31.50 OR $1.58.

YOUR CLAIM FOR ARIZONA SALES TAX IS THE AMOUNT OF $0.05. SINCE IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT THE INCIDENCE OF THE SALES TAX IMPOSED BY SECTION 42- 1314 OF THE ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES LIKEWISE IS ON THE VENDOR THAT ITEM ALSO WILL BE REIMBURSED.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR AN UNRECEIPTED EXPENSE, YOU SAY THAT YOU RENTED A HAND TRUCK FOR THE PURPOSE OF LOADING YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS INTO THE VAN IN CANOGA PARK, CALIFORNIA, PREPARATORY TO YOUR MOVE TO YUMA, ARIZONA, AND THAT YOU OBTAINED A RECEIPTED BILL FOR THIS COST, BUT THAT IN THE PROCESS OF MOVING AND RELOCATION YOU HAVE MISPLACED OR LOST THE RECEIPT. IN LIEU THEREOF YOU SUBMITTED A STATEMENT SIGNED BY YOU IN WHICH IT IS STATED THAT ON NOVEMBER 26, 1970, YOU PAID $2 TO A COMMERCIAL RENTING COMPANY FOR A ONE-DAY RENTAL OF A HAND TRUCK FOR THIS PURPOSE.

AS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO REIMBURSEMENT OF ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY A MEMBER IN CONNECTION WITH THE MOVEMENT OF HIS HOUSEHOLD GOODS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH M8500 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, HIS CLAIM MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY THE PAID BILLS OR RECEIPTS SHOWING THE ACTUAL EXPENSES INCURRED. SUCH PAID BILLS OR RECEIPTS CONSTITUTE DIRECT EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING NOT ONLY THE FACT THAT THE GOODS WERE MOVED TO THE NEW DUTY STATION, BUT THE COSTS INVOLVED AS WELL. HOWEVER, WE HAVE HELD THAT IN SITUATIONS WHERE SUCH EVIDENCE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE, SUCH OTHER EVIDENCE AS WOULD REASONABLY ESTABLISH THE FACT MAY BE USED. SEE B-173462, OCTOBER 12, 1971, AND B-174267, FEBRUARY 18, 1972.

THE RECORD CONTAINS AN EXTENSIVE INVENTORY OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, MANY OF WHICH ITEMS APPEAR TO BE QUITE BULKY AND WOULD SEEM TO REQUIRE SUCH LOADING EQUIPMENT. SINCE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED YOUR STATEMENT AS WELL AS A RECEIPT FOR THE RENTAL OF A HAND TRUCK FOR THE PURPOSE OF UNLOADING YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN YUMA, ARIZONA, WE WILL ACCEPT SUCH EVIDENCE AS REASONABLY ESTABLISHING THAT SUCH AN EXPENSE WAS INCURRED FOR THE LOADING OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THE AMOUNT THEREOF AND AUTHORIZE REIMBURSEMENT.

THE BALANCE OF YOUR CLAIM, $12.50, REPRESENTS MILEAGE FOR 50 ADDITIONAL MILES AT $0.25 PER MILE. SINCE YOU WERE REIMBURSED BY THE NAVY FOR THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE POINTS OF SHIPMENT, 290 MILES, AND ARE NOW BEING ALLOWED AN ADDITIONAL 58 MILES TO RETURN THE TRUCK TO EL CENTRO, NO BASIS IS FOUND FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF ANY ADDITIONAL MILEAGE.

SETTLEMENT WILL ISSUE IN DUE COURSE FOR THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS FOUND DUE AS INDICATED ABOVE.